Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I guess this means more Amazon Logistics deliveries, which is really a shame because that service sucks.

Amazon keeps optimizing for speed but I think for most people they're fast enough already. And optimizing more in this one dimension could actually make the overall experience worse. I'd rather 100% reliable 2 day delivery than 85% reliable 1 day delivery but that's not where the trend is going.

Reminds me of how apple pursued thin devices until they broke a fundamental part of the experience (MacBook keyboard). Sometimes you're done.

As a customer I don't like this as I've had these guys leave packages in my driveway in pouring rain when the covered front deck was only 20 feet away. They also frequently deliver my packages to my neighbor's house and speed around like maniacs.

On a societal level it's a shame that jobs that could actually support a person or family are being replaced by hustle economy types. My own parents never went to college and have worked service jobs their whole life, but could still own a house and eat dinner with us every night. They even bought a computer when I was a teenager in the 90s. I think in today's world they'd be driving for Lyft all night and I'd have grown up in a different town with a worse school system.

"Your margin is my opportunity." -Jeff Bezos

Amazon put a flag on my old address to not use FedEx fulfillment because they had 100% failure rate. FedEx always managed to drop the package at a different but similar house number than mine (e.g. 698 or 588 instead of 598).

It was a single family home in a neighborhood of ~100 homes on 2 intersecting roads, so not really hard to find.

UPS, USPS, and Amazon had no problems finding my house. Even had a couple freight companies make deliveries on Amazon's behalf without issues.

I use to standby FedEx as my preferred shipper but they've really gone down hill since the early 2000s IMO.

> Amazon put a flag on my old address to not use FedEx fulfillment because they had 100% failure rate.

Amazon will let you do that with every other carrier EXCEPT Amazon Logistics. The only way to get them blocked is prove your home is a prison, military base, or have experiences so horrible they have pity on you.

I need to turn my apartment into a prison then.

It's incredible really. The Amazon logistics folks weren't able to accurately put packages into the parcel locker system at my apartment, and would constantly just leave them on the counter in the public area. This happened so much so that my apartment revoked their courier number to use the parcel system. The apartment management's idea: instead have them deliver directly to the door of each resident. As you can imagine, this has tanked successful Amazon deliveries to anyone in my apartment complex. I'm probably sitting at about a 66% success rate for getting my packages delivered AT ALL.

On the bright side, their customer service folks have added tons of $5 and $15 credits to my account because of how absolutely terrible their own courier service is at delivering.

For me it's a treasure hunt I never asked for.

- Was it left at my apartment door?

- Was it left in the 2nd floor mail room/lobby?

- Was it left in the 1st floor main entry/lobby?

- Was it left outside?

- Was it left in some side door?

- Was it left halfway between the 2nd and 3rd floor on a random stairway?

- Was it left in the office?

- Will I have to wait 3 more days so I can report it lost/stolen and try again?

So fun.

Not to get into the "Prime 1-day", which when I order three 1-day things at the same time means one shows up tomorrow, one the next day, and one the day after.

In my case they don't have access to the delivery locker (I am not sure why), so the packages end up going to the building leasing office. The office workers won't put it in the storage lockers, of course, so I have to go pick it up from their office during working hours.

I don't often finish work before this, so pick-up of these "One Day Delivery" packages are pretty much relegated to weekends.

I hope we close the loopholes that allows companies to take people that would previously have been employees and call them "contractors" and skirt all sorts of minimum wage, training, and safety issues.

You mean the loopholes that allow people to start their own business as contractors?

It’s a bit of a stretch to think of Uber or Lyft drivers like startup entrepreneurs.

I had a similar experience recently, and contacted Amazon. I talked to two separate people in two different departments, one that was supposedly a delivery logistics group. I was able to provide a statement regarding where to leave packages from now on. It's seemingly working so far, but we'll see what happens in a month or so.

I made a similar call after an Amazon courier recently left two packages on the roadside nowhere near my house (where they are normally left at the door).

They added instructions to my account indicating which door the packages should be left at. So far, about 50% of the deliveries have been at a different door, but at least they've made it to the house.

Honestly as someone who has delivered food, goods, etc finding someone's address can be difficult and sometimes down right annoying. Also consider that delivery drivers may not have full command English.

For example those nice looking cursive addresses instead of simple to read numerals are annoying.

Then there's missing numbers, or bad choices in color, or it's black and they don't have a light for it at night.

I think its largely due to globalization. Lots of the blue collar jobs went overseas. Thinking back I can recall all the transitions my employers did to adapt to globalization.

There is an ongoing monopolization trend of the entire world's economy, there is the recent phenomenon of overwhelming regulation of every market, there is an ongoing experiment of monetary distortion of markets to a level far higher than anything ever done before. Not to talk about bare corruption, that I suspect is at never seen before levels, due to large governments everywhere.

People are way too quick on pointing their fingers at automation and globalization. There is some evidence against those being the main cause of the current lack of low qualification jobs (that is worldwide, by the way).

I thought we were the only ones - they've left boxes sitting outdoors our apartment building even though they, like fedex and USPS, have codes to come in and put in front of our doors. What's even worse is that management put up a sign on the building entrance telling to put deliveries inside the building and they started leaving deliveries outside right in front of the sign.

The wealth you describe is now summarized as the “boomers” by the generation Z. Basically, the ability to be branch manager while typing with only two fingers (It won’t be possible to have such a career anymore with 7M people on Earth), while the kid struggles getting a flatshare after passing a masters’ degree. The generation that lived through full employment, bought a house for way less relative money than today, while all they left their kids with was govt debt and a polluted earth. All the while believing the Carpe Diem philosophy will “get you through tough times.”

I don’t even agree that much with those clichés (they had their sets of challenges, plus I’m Gen X) but it’s extremely important to remain aware of the various trends of the new generations.

Example with a popular symbol: https://www.bitchute.com/video/_16B2euF128/

Reminds me of how apple pursued thin devices until they broke a fundamental part of the experience (MacBook keyboard). Sometimes you're done.

Sometimes, you have to know when to get out to end on a high note. American television is notorious for this. Game of Thrones and House of Cards are recent examples. The American television industry is the one that gave rise to the proto-meme of "Jumping the Shark." (On the other hand, the Japanese anime industry is notorious for often leaving people wanting more.)

On the other end, Apple's biggest successes involved knowing when to wait, and when to move, so that they didn't release something which wasn't ready. Apple didn't release the first MP3 player. They didn't release the first smartphone or the first tablet.

So I doubt that Amazon is "done" at 2 day delivery. However, given my experience with new Amazon services, I'd say that they've created an incentive structure for internal groups to be first, even when they're not ready to the point where they somewhat damage the brand.

I thought you were going to talk about Television industrial design (not the shows) which is another product category that's getting ridiculous because it won't get flatter. It's even starting to abandon technology/design, which they've fully tapped for variation, and is trying to make into art work these days which I guess is the end goal of all product design assuming it maintains its full utility. Some people just want a TV not a 60" framed piece of art sitting in the middle of their living room.

Product differentiation for the sake of differentiation is always a dangerous game. Someone posted here the other day about "peak products" where the product reaches an ideal state which is an interesting concept!

The problem is an obsession with constant newness misses stuff like privacy, customer support, longevity, etc. But they care more about having a new flashy SKU for next season which looks different.

Edit: the Wikipedia for "Jumping the shark" is excellent, apparently from when Fonzie jumped over a shark in water skiis as part of a promotional gimmick on Happy Days. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark

not sure game of thrones is a good illustration of your point. once it became a juggernaut, they were locked into overshooting the runway that george rr martin had meticulously contructed over decades (but didn't finish) and disappoint fans.

if they had ended in season 5 with the material already written, none of the storylines would have been resolved. therefore, some amount of additional story had to be developed, so if you're doomed to disappoint fans, why not write 3 more seasons and make a bunch of money in the process? in a deadline-driven environment, no army of writers was going to produce a satisfyingly detailed and consistent ending to match martin's prior work (it seems even martin himself is having trouble with regard to the book series).

once it became a juggernaut, they were locked into overshooting the runway that george rr martin had meticulously contructed over decades

No one was locked in. You know what the Japanese anime industry does in this case? Sometimes, they draw out the story, so that entire episodes are taken up with just powering up. (Dragonball Z) More commonly, they just wait for the author!

Of course, the anime industry has the advantage, that the "way someone is drawn" can remain the same after a gap of 5 or 10 years, while human actors age. However, in 5 or 10 years, I don't think that's going to be prohibitively expensive anymore.

They didn't release the first smartphone or the first tablet.

Was there something before the Newton?

Yes, according to Wikipedia. Also, there's a reason why Jobs killed the Newton.

Amazon Logistics works just fine... when they're delivering to an Amazon Locker. I really get the impression that Locker delivery is 90% of what Amazon Logistics was built to achieve (since anything delivered to an Amazon Locker has to go through Amazon Logistics), and home delivery is just a sideline use-case that they haven't put much optimization work into.

I started getting things delivered to a Locker near my office because delivery to my apartment consistently sucked regardless of carrier (drivers never tried to buzz in; stuff always ended up at the post office or back at the delivery depot.)

Now that I've tried it I'm not going back. Just the fact that I can guarantee where the thing will be (no misdeliveries; no chance of theft from my front door), and pick it up immediately (no waiting in line) at any time of day (since the lockers tend to be street-accessible), makes so much difference.

And that's leaving aside the fact that I've never found anything delivered to a locker to be late (on the last-mile logistics side of things, at least.) In fact, as long as such a shipment enters the country on time, I've found it to arrive faster than its projected delivery time more-often-than-not.

Amazon has a solid experience with Logistics+Locker, but they haven't really marketed it very hard. Kind of surprising, really; the improved delivery experiences might do wonders for their customer retention at a time when fake Marketplace sellers are scaring customers away.

Do these lockers not exist in the US aside from the ones by Amazon? DHL lockers are everywhere in Germany.

No, other than some apartment complexes now have their own automated lockers.

I live in an apartment complex, and just yesterday my 1 day delivery was marked as delivered and "left in parcel locker", but it isn't in my mailbox (it is too big anyway), and I have no auto-email unlock code for the Amazon locker type service they have setup in the common area, but it was marked delivered on the website.

I have no way of giving feedback that the delivery drivers here are lazy and marking packages as delivered to keep up their metrics and then actually delivering them the next day. It is very annoying.

Contact customer service and tell them you didn’t get it. You’ll get some credit and if this keeps happening they’ll either do something or you’ll get lots of free stuff.

I agree they should contact CS, however I wouldn’t get my hopes up for credit or lots of free stuff. After many similar issues (caused by both Amazon & FedEx), and multiple hours on the phone w/Amazon CS, the best I ended up with was having them flag my account to avoid Amazon Logistics deliveries whenever possible.

Now they’re usually fulfilled by UPS, and I don’t recall any issues since having the flag added.

> the best I ended up with was having them flag my account to avoid Amazon Logistics deliveries whenever possible.

IIRC, Amazon.com customer support can only request the flag, but it can be denied. That's what happened to me, and I still get stuff delivered by Amazon Logistics.

At least their service has improved somewhat since then.

It usually always arrives the next day, so the package does come, just not on the day it is supposed to be delivered.

And if it happens often enough you'll get banned from Amazon for being an unprofitable customer.

If they don’t want to fix their shit and you don’t want to deal with their shit, then that outcome seems best for everyone involved.

Not if they're a retailer with 50% market share in the US, it may be your only option for some goods?

Do you have any examples? As far as I can tell there are plenty of viable alternatives.

I had a package that was marked as "handed to resident" yesterday even though I live alone, no one else has access to my apartment, and I wasn't home all day.

There should be a photo receipt of where the package was left: simple and easy verification.

Not always. The probability of me getting photo verification is inversely proportional to the value of the package.

My $2 item that shipped by itself? Photo. $1300 worth of PC build? No photo, no doorbell, nothing...

Except for the drivers that take a photo of the package at the doorstep, then take the package.

There wasn't. The package was at my door today however.

This sort of crap happens at least 50% of the time when I get something delivered by Amazon's delivery people. Those guys are just blatantly lying about when they deliver packages, and it is getting worse not better.

Very rarely ever have any issues with FedEx, UPS, or USPS. OnTrac is pretty garbage, but still better than Amazon Logistics.

I had a similar repeated experience and filed a complaint directly with Amazon by calling their support line and elevating it to logistics and implying that the driver might have stolen the package. I'm sure this is a well known tactic and that they log it as it gives them leverage against an unruly contractor.

One thing I “look forward” to seeing is safety as these Amazon trucks become more widespread. The ones in my area drive like absolute maniacs. Worst thing I’ve seen UPS and FedEx do is block a bike lane.

Many of those Amazon trucks are part of fairly small (compared to Fedex,) mom and pop delivery companies: they don’t have the years of process and training that Fedex has. They are essentially franchises.

Where I am there are Amazon branded eurovans that do a lot of the deliveries. They seem to drive alright, but tend to park in the middle of the street and block traffic. Also, the people that drive them aren't super sober all the time. I've nearly run over people that just jump out of the side door as I am trying to pass the van that is blocking the street. It's been a few times this has happened. Like, I know this job is not paying top dollar, and hence the drivers are not top notch. But I am more than willing to pay on par with FedEx and the like if that means that there are safer and more sober drivers in my neighborhood.

We have the Amazon-wrapped Sprinter vans in my area. I live on a dead-end and had to wait for these jokers plenty, yesterday one nearly ran a stop sign trying to make a small gap (really just a safety margin) between myself and another car. Thought I was going to be t-boned for sure... thankfully the courier stopped and only blocked the bike lane.

Don't worry though, they have high-viz vests so they're clearly safety conscious.

Wasn't Amazon encouraging some of their warehouse staff to go start doing deliveries with their personal vehicles? Even helping them with their own little 'gig economy' delivery setup insulating Amazon from liability for whatever they might do while still guiding their deliveries via a provided terminal?

The FedEx Ground trucks around here are also franchises, but I'm sure FedEx strictly enforces driver training, etc., since their name is on the side of the truck.

Amazon deliveries here recently transitioned from random guy's car to Amazon-branded vans. Maybe that will help.

The FedEx ground franchisees in W Central Fla are a dangerous menace. My development has a 20mph speed limit routinely flaunted @ 40mph: Without exception (we have speed cameras to prove it). Beyond, bicyclists are no obstacle.

If they were employees and shared liability with FedEx these issues might not exist. But they do exist, and if Amazon can do no worse it'll be a wash for pedestrians and cyclists. At least in this part of Floriduh.

Here's a video that explains a bit about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f6CveRk4N0

tl;dw: people think they're going to be "Amazon Business Partners" more like you're another cost center being squeezed as much as possible

In my area the Amazon deliveries come in uhaul vans about 2/3 of the time.

In my area it is about split 50/50 between grungy old sedans loaded to the roof, and plain white Transit Connect vans. The latter seems to be increasing in popularity.

Here: Amazon Logistics by day, Uber by night. Just a guy in a normal Toyota Prius...

Yeah for my area it's about 70% UHaul, 30% shady looking unmarked van. Yesterday I saw for the first time a van that was actually one of those Amazon Prime vans they show in the photos on their website. It wasn't delivering to me, but I saw it driving in my area.

My last one (two days ago) was just a guy in an unmarked sedan.

I am sure it's abysmal. We finally received a settlement for the damage done to our parking deck when an Amazon delivery driver drove into our bright yellow solid steel clearance bar. The driver left before the police showed up. Luckily we got the plate number.

I placed an order with Amazon last week, on Friday. Just got free shipping, no Prime, nothing. It was delivered two days later, on Sunday.

Cool, thanks, but I really didn't need or expect it that fast, and I kinda feel bad for whoever may have had to work extra to get me my Friday order on Sunday...

On the other hand, the delivery driver who got paid to make that Sunday delivery may be grateful for the income.

... if incremental income is tied to number of deliveries. If the driver was contractually obligated to work that day anyway, and the incremental load simply increased the time at work without an increase in compensation, then maybe not.

I am not sure exactly how Amazon structures the pay for drivers, but even if it is time-based instead of package-based, there have to be >0 packages to deliver for the driver to get paid anything that day.

I hope so! Thanks for the alternate perspective.

If you have to deliver a parcel anyway, why delay?

In the UK Second Class post is just held back a bit. It isn't like it gets sent by pack horse instead of by truck.

Now you are a good sort, but your neighbour might be on the phone to them on Sunday evening saying 'I ordered this Friday, moan, moan, moan...' if it was not delivered so promptly. This would incur 20 to 30 minutes of customer service time and could possibly lose them as a customer, for them to write negative reviews and bad mouth the company.

It is less work to do deliveries really promptly and have no queue to manage. Don't feel bad for the people that work to achieve this, imagine how much more miserable they would be if they had a backlog, a veritable mountain of stuff to deliver on Monday, for them to not get it all done and to be going home fretting about it.

I am no fan of Amazon but I can see what they are doing.

It actually really annoys me when this happens. My building's mailroom is only open Mon-Fri, so despite the effort put in to deliver as fast as possible, I still can't receive it until the following Monday night.

If you don't need your package that fast, you can select a slower delivery option and Amazon will either give you credit for ether digital goods or Prime Now orders.

I think you're right (at least for me).

I wonder if Amazon is preemptively competing with AliExpress, Alibaba, etc. Once people realize you can get stuff _even_cheaper_ from the Chinese version of Amazon it's going to be really tempting to go there instead. Pretty much the only advantage Amazon has is that they're state-side and can compete on ridiculous speed (which is gonna be really tough for people on other continents to do)

>Reminds me of how apple pursued thin devices until they broke a fundamental part of the experience (MacBook keyboard). Sometimes you're done.

For me it was when they had to solder in the ram. As soon as you can't fix or change your own device, it's a device i don't want to own.

The trend for electronics is more integration. How do I change the ram on a solid piece of smart-glass that the Sci-fi movies are promising me?

You don't, but the smart glass of science fiction probably doesn't have an actual stick of RAM in it either. I think the point was that the ram is still being created as a separate unit and they didn't have to solder it, but did anyway.

I tried to get something delivered to my office (I work in a office tower in the downtown of a city). We have a loading dock, logistics team, etc. Normally Fedex, UPS, etc work out the details to get the code to access the loading dock, etc and the logistics team handles getting packages to me.

I got a call once from a Amazon guys saying he had my package, I went down to the lobby to see he was basically unloading a pallet of packages in our fancy lobby. Needless to say our logistics team has tried to work with Amazon to get stuff delivered right, but we still seem to have issues.

UPS and USPS are still mostly reliable for now. FedEx has not been reliable because they've already started to transition to 3rd party contractors a few years back. Many times FedEx shipped items are marked as "delivered" when in reality, the item is still at the warehouse.

Amazon Logistics is still a better option than OnTrac.

I've had a slightly better track record with OnTrac than Amazon Logistics, but they are both exceedingly terrible. Truly awful, both of them.

I have had the worst experiences with Amazon logistics. Packages marked as "can not deliver" at 930pm to a building with a front desk (two days in a row).

I asked them about never sending me something with Amazon logistics again and they indicated that they flipped a flag to remove it as a shipping method.

I wish Amazon would add a $1-3 variable shipping charge to 2 day shipping (which is already very cheap) which gets pooled and awarded to the delivery people based on performance metrics (complaints, delivery times, damaged packages).

classic HackerNews discussing how business is run. Elitist at best.

Reminds me of how mobile phones used to be huge and then they did everything possible to make them smaller until they were way too small and had to double back a bit. Now the same thing is happening with thickness.

> Reminds me of how mobile phones used to be huge and then they did everything possible to make them smaller until they were way too small and had to double back a bit.

Is this accurate?

I was reading reviews of the Game Boy Micro a few years ago (written when the Game Boy Micro was released in the early 2000s). Many described the product as "as small as a cell phone". I found this funny—it's significantly smaller than smartphones today—including the original iPhone, by the way, which wasn't small when it came out.

I'd say the trend has been towards larger phones as we've begun to use them more and more. If you use something most of your day, you don't mind so much if takes up more pocket space.

You may be right in terms of thickness, although I think it's too early to call that a trend.

I believe it to be accurate. If you look at the trend of phone sizes from the first mobile phones up to about 2008 they were only getting smaller. If the trend kept going you could easily create a mobile phone today that is way too small for all practicality.


Well, the trend kept going. Nowadays you can get pretty small feature phone, like the following one I just picked randomly from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/L8star-Bluetooth-Headset-Earphone-Sup...

I think it's really important to separate dumb phones from smartphones (and possibly both from "feature phones"). That phone from 2000 is a perfectly reasonable size for a device that only makes calls, and in fact, it would be nice if it were smaller.

Blackberries were never that small, and weren't trending downwards in a significant way.

What era of mobiles do you have in mind? From my PoV, (smart) phones are getting bigger and bigger up until they cease to become all that mobile. It's why I bought an iPhone classic (not iPhone X) just the other week after a decade of Android phones.

What era of mobiles do you have in mind

Probably in the early 2000's when small equaled good.

My wife had an LG phone that was so small it fit in the palm of my hand with my fingers closed. Sony sold a phone so small that it had a boom mic that swung down a couple of inches to pick up your voice.

I had a SonyEricsson t68i that was 4" x 1¾" x ¾": https://www.gsmarena.com/sony_ericsson_t68i-325.php

(EDIT: in re-reading your comment, I see that you're just trying to illustrate a point, and I'm going all pedantic. Apologies.)

I currently own a phone so small that it doesn't even have a keyboard[0]. When they get the thing to fit in my ear, then I'll start to worry that they're getting too small.

I'm being just a bit facetious, but in seriousness if voice-controlled AI can improve a bit, size might cease to be an issue.

[0] Apple Watch, and the only thing keeping from just ditching the phone is a. battery life b. Apple's use case they designed for is not "ditch the phone".

That makes it sound like they went too small and decided that was a mistake. What really happened was Smartphones came out. Which required a certain size just to support the UI. Then Tablets came out to bridge the gap between smartphones and laptops. So people could start using them for watching YouTube/Netflix or reading e-books. Then the Phablet came out. Which was a bridge between the phone and the tablet. So you could still watch movies and stuff but still fit the thing in your pocket.

Couldn't we just call this a natural way of refining the product?

>Amazon keeps optimizing for speed

I think they are optimizing for cost/customer satisfaction, not speed.

> I think they are optimizing for cost/customer satisfaction, not speed.

Ha! I'm pretty sure they're optimizing for cost and precisely as much customer dissatisfaction that customers can take before they leave for competitors. My experiences with Amazon Logistics have not been good. Their processes and staff are inferior to USPS and UPS at least.

Hey, at least Amazon Logistics is not UPS.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact